We intended to go to the Bata Shoe Museum on August 25th, as it’s been on Dani’s list for quite some time. However, it seemed that every time we intended to go, our hearts were elsewhere. So, instead, we made our way through Philosopher’s Walk at campus and passed by Bata on our way to visit Kanto for a bit of lunch. With our bellies ready, we set back out towards… wherever our feet would take us. Our last little bit of the trip was Harbourfront. We enjoyed the views, an adorable bulldog, and for a brief moment we sat by the water down away from where the ferries are. We mused about the condos around, and how much we’d like to have one. Our dream is one facing out to the Lake. It may not be an ocean or even a sea, but it can be beautiful sometimes, and it could be home. When finally rain began to drizzle down, we caught a street car to Union and made our way home.
August 30th was Dani’s first time going to the CNE. We went down to Union, and caught a street car that would take us to Exhibition. We met up with a group of friends and had a great time along the way. Dani and I spent quite some time gawking at our one-day-hopefully homes along the Harbour Front. Unfortunately, this day was not one of our better ones. I didn’t listen to Dani’s advice to print out a menu that went along with contest medallions we’d gotten from the newspaper for small discounts at the food vendors. The result was frustratingly and desperately trying to find the proper page on my phone, making myself feel like a tool and Dani feel not listened to.
The day never really got back on track, and I had ruined her first time at the CNE. We walked around, our friends played bingo, I took a shot at winning a big stuffed toy. Didn’t win it.
We went to the pavilion with the big retailers and Dani got me a rad purple TMNT tank top. We also noticed that an airline was sponsoring all sorts of little South East Asian retailers, and we walked around it, eventually finding a Philippines booth. We got ourselves some nice little mini parols made of capiz for Christmas, and I’m excited to put some lights in ‘em and make ‘em like little lamps. After that we sat for a while with our friends before wandering back out to find food. The place was overcrowded, so we ended up with just a beavertail to tide us over.
Like I said, the day never quite got back on track, but the last thing we did was find the marketplace with smaller set-ups. It was something I was looking for all day; I have good memories finding kitschy shit there. It might not be the saviour, but it sure perked up our spirits. We strolled and gawked at everything, from movies, comics and assorted geekery, to a real cool lamp place, with beautifully crafted hanging lanterns. We admired some glassworks and rings around the place, and I was completely taken by a dried meat place and wanted to buy all of it but thought better. There was this great place selling all kitschy Christmas stuff, related to comics, cartoons, movies, etc. The highlight may have actually been a booth selling honey, though. Dani was as smitten by this honey, particularly the cinnamon flavoured one, as I was by the dried meat. We got ourselves a jar of the honey, and Dani convinced all our friends to do the same. And then, we made for home.
On the first of September, we met with Dani’s friend Kenneth. In exchange for some baked goodies, we were getting professional quality headshots done for our resumes and whatnot. We met up with him around 3pm, and we went off to the UofT campus. We took photos here and there, and came across another one of our friends, Tomas. Between the four of us, we were all starving. I dragged everybody across campus and out to College Street so I could get my precious Italian soda from the Tea Shop 168 just off College. From there, it was on to Kanto! We filled ourselves with dinuguan, bangsilog, sans rival cake and calamansi iced tea. Completely filled ourselves! Back up to Finch and Kenneth dropped us off at home to finish our day together.
September 10th was a bit of a reunion for us. The end goal of the day was to find a piece of graffiti we had “lost” a year prior. We had been walking around the AGO when we took a picture of a great piece of street art, but the photo became corrupt and wrecked. With a little internet help, I found out where it was again and was determined to find it.
We start the day by heading out to Lola’s Kuisina in Etobicoke to deal with some paper work from Dani’s Kapisanan work. I’m not a big fan of driving, I hate it. I’ve been in a few accidents, and the anxiety of having to deal with it makes long, unfamiliar drives nerve-wracking for me. Eventually we found the spot, and we headed back, getting caught in traffic along Finch on our way to Downsview Station. We arived in good time, though, and went off to St. George. A quick visit to Financial Aid Office, a walk over to the K and off we went to find our graffiti. And we finally did! Just across from the AGO, this whole time, sat our little doggy friend. Unfortunately, someone has since put their ugly spraytag across it, but it’s mostly untouched. With that found, we went home for the day and got some rest.
We gained an empty house, as my parents went away for a vacation on the 4th of September. For Dani and I, that meant all our time together and a good few nights. Both Saturdays into both Mondays after the 4th, we got to have our own little abode. Finding the graffiti fell in this time slot, and we also made time to visit some bookstores during the first week of classes (grabbed some Folio books relevant to my program!). We spent a lot of time playing around with a Nintendo Monopoly set that I had bought years ago and never taken out of the shrink wrap. We made some rules for loans from the bank, to draw out the game, and we kept it going for almost two weeks. Dani spent most of her time puttering around the kitchen making amazing food. We went through three whole chickens, each one salt-roasted, and with the last two we got creative. We had marble potatoes and smashed potatoes to go with them, the smashed potatoes lasting across the final two chickens. The creative part was Dani’s curiosity; she made us sriracha quesadilla and used the bones and leftover parts to make us a delicious, hearty, chicken broth for our own sort-of-ramen. Also on the food list was a pumpkin pie custard with vanilla cake (unbelievable and easily my favourite custard and pumpkin thing!), pan-cooked chicken & cheese sandwiches, red-bean-bread French toast, along with a multitude of things that have flown from my mind! It was a revelatory time of treats and meals!